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2004, January 25


Dimitrie Paciurea

(Bucuresti, 1873 - Bucuresti, 1932)

Romanian sculptor. After finishing the Arts and Craftsmanships School in Bucharest (1890-1894), he went to Paris for studying sculpture (1896-1900).
Making his debut in 1894 at the Living Artists' Exhibition, he would then be a constant presence at official salons and participate in the events organized by the "Artists' Circle" and the " Artistic Youth" . He was among those who in 1919 founded the "Romanian Art Society".
His sculptures could be admired at several personal exhibitions opened in Bucharest, at the 1907 Exhibition from the Romanian Atheneum, the 1922 Exhibition (where Cornel Medrea and Gabriel Popescu were by his side), the 1930 Exhibition (together with Gabriel Popescu and Iosif Steurer), the 1932 posthumous Retrospective, the 1957 Retrospective at the Art Museum of Romania. Romanian Art Exhibitions held in Munich in 1913, Brussels in 1930 and the 1924 Venice Biennial also showed his works.
In 1903 he became master of sculpture at the Academy for Music and Dramatic Art in Bucharest and in 1909 he did the same at the Arts School in Bucharest.
As custodian of the Aman Museum, which he became in 1909, Paciurea had the inspiration to transform one of the Museum tenancies into a studio (there artists and later on grantees of the "Paciurea" Prize, to be first awarded the very year of the maestro death, had for many years spent creative hours).
The moment he had completed his studies in Paris which happened to be the "Fin de Siecle", was far from being a demarcation time, to let the young sculptor discern among, or even dissociate from, the then artistic trends. He had the perception of some of the things that happened-to only say about the attraction towards the symbolistic composition, the fine and sensible cast of shapes, specific of the Impressionistic sculpture, and towards the ornamental play of curves and countercurves, specific of the 1900 Style. However, this attraction was not to determine a contamination of his creation, but to better reveal his emotions and thoughts, in a favourable moment.
Even from his first works, the sculptor was deemed to escape the academistic enthralment -which colleagues from Art Institutes in Bucharest could not, and turn to a style of creation putting old traditions and current experience together, thus making "Paciurea's time" in the Romanian sculpture become a most original and distinguished one. The Byzantine and the Renaissance elements visible in the (Gigant, 1905-1907, a double-faced statue guarding the entrance to the "Enchanted Grotto" (now only a memory) in the Filaret Field, known today as the Liberty Park; Christ incoronat de spini/Christ with a Crown of Thorns, 1907; Madona Stolojan/The Stolojan Madonna, 1912, were only chosen to intensify the plastic vision of his own time, a time shuddering with war spectre (Zeul razboiului/God of War, 1916; Durere/Sorrow; Rastignita/The Crucified, 1917). Immemorial mythical visions would haunt Paciurea's imagination to the point of having him sublime the reality, by unusual symbolic representations or by populating it with phantastic creatures. Omul primitiv/The Primitive Man (1906-1907) and Sfinxul/The Sphinx (1913) were followed by the "Himere/Chimeras series. The Chimera of Air, the Chimera of Earth, the Chimera of Water and the Chimera of Night etc. belonged all to the sculptor's solitary surrealistic exercise, which he imposed himself. If the Romanian sculptor's surrealistic works had been better known and judiciously appreciated, the surrealistic art would have certainly gained. From that time of his creation only the Sphinx and a Chimera were publicly shown (Venice, 1924).
Paciurea showed the same inspiration and good mastering of the representation in his portraits of (B.P. Hasdeu, 1907; Gheorghe Petrascu, 1907; Stefan Luchian, 1908; Beethoven, 1912; Ibsen, 1920; Iancu Brezianu, 1921; Prof. Fr. Lebrun, 1931; Cap de copil/A Child's Head; 1908; Cap de fetita/A Little Girl's Head (Mioara), 1923 a.o. He also created compositions such as "The Girl with A Jug ", 1920, "Thinking", 1928, small statues, the fronton of the Antipa Museum, 1908, and authored an unfinished project for the Monument of the Romanian Principalities' Union, 1909.

Pan (1931)